Valley First

Building Your Own Home

A custom-built home is the way to go if you want to get the exact location, style, and features you desire in your new home. Valley First has financed custom homes throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys and our mortgage specialists have the experience to make building your new dream home a reality.


Building a custom home is an exciting proposition, but the requirements and steps involved in the financing and construction process can be a little daunting for some. You’ll need to work with a designer/builder to create your plans and select a general contractor to make them a reality. If you have construction experience you can be your own general contractor and let us help you through the process.

What is a construction mortgage

A construction mortgage is basically a short-term loan (usually up to one year) to pay for the land and construction costs at various stages during the project. The funds are advanced in four to six draws during the construction period and you are responsible for interest only payments. Once construction is complete, the outstanding loan balance is converted to a mortgage with either fixed or variable terms.

What are the steps in the process?

  • Locate a lot and work with a builder to develop a set of plans and determine costs
  • Valley First will review the construction plans, costs, contracts and appraisal value at completion before creating a schedule for draws
  • Register your build with the Homeowner Protection Office (mandatory in BC) to obtain warranty insurance (your builder can help with this step) and also obtain Builder’s All Risk Insurance
  • Obtain a building permit and commence construction
  • Progress draws will be paid according to the appraiser’s progress reports
  • Upon completion of the build, the outstanding loan balance is converted to a conventional mortgage with fixed and variable terms available

Need more information? Here are the construction mortgage basics. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association also has some great advice for anyone thinking of building or renovating a home.

Contact a Valley First branch to set up a meeting with one of our construction mortgage specialists and get all the information you need to build your dream home.


Have a question? Simply contact us and we'll provide you with the information you're looking for.


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